How can you miss it?

Astronomers have found a void in space measuring one billion light-years across. That’s 9,460,528,000,000,000,000,000 kilometres. Let’s put that into context.

Count the number of square millimetres on the earth’s surface, including the oceans. (Before you start counting, there are 6 billion billion of them, a billion for each person in the world.) Now, tick them off one at a time, taking a flight each time you do. For the first one, fly from London to Naples, Italy. For the second, fly back to London. For the third, fly back to Naples, and so on, flying from London to Naples on the odd numbers and back to London on the evens. By the time you’ve ticked off all of the square millimetres on the earth’s surface, you’ll have covered the same distance as the void is wide.

For completeness, assuming you don’t have to waste any time checking in, waiting for your bags etc., your journeys would take you 125,000 times longer than the universe has existed to date.

It’s quite a big void.


One Response to “How can you miss it?”

  1. Art Vandelay on August 25th, 2007 22:25

    Is that even bigger than Lakeside shopping centre?

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